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K-State’s LBs coach leaves ‘to focus more on family’

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For the second time this offseason, Bill Snyder has a hole on his coaching staff to fill.

Kansas State announced via a press release earlier Sunday that Mike Cox will not return to the Wildcats for the 20117 season.  Cox had spent the past five seasons as K-State’s linebackers coach.

In a statement, Cox cited a desire to spend more time with his family as the reason behind his decision to leave Manhattan.

“I appreciate the time I have spent at K-State coaching and mentoring so many great young men, but it’s time for me to step away and focus more on my family and my children,” said Cox. “I look forward to following the Wildcats next season and for many years to come.”

“We are grateful for what Mike has done for our program and young people and respect the decision he has made to spend more time with his family,” the longtime head coach said in his statement.

In mid-February, Del Miller announced he was stepping down as the Wildcats’ quarterbacks coach/co-offensive coordinator.  One day later, former K-State quarterback Collin Klein was announced as Miller’s replacement.

Jake Waters returns to Big 12… on Iowa State staff

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One of the most popular players in recent Kansas State history is coming back to the conference, albeit not at his alma mater.

Iowa State confirmed Friday that Jake Waters has joined Matt Campbell‘s football staff as an offensive graduate assistant. The move to Ames is a homecoming of sorts as Waters is an Iowa native and actually began the playing portion of his collegiate career at a junior college in the state.

His father also wanted his son to go to ISU coming out of high school, although an offer from the Cyclones didn’t come either then or as he was leaving that JUCO.

“I couldn’t be more excited about being a part of this program and the vision coach Campbell has here is something pretty special,” Waters told the Des Moines Register.

This will mark Waters’ first coaching job of any kind at the FBS level. He was a volunteer coach this offseason for Iowa Western Community College, the school at which he began his playing career.

Transferring from the JUCO to Kansas State, Waters started the 2013 and 2014 seasons at quarterback for the Wildcats. In that span, K-State went 17-9 with Waters under center. His last year as the starter, he set single-season school records for passing yards, passing touchdowns, passing efficiency and completion percentage.

The past two seasons, he attempted to carve out a career at the professional level in both the NFL and CFL.

Reports: K-State AD John Currie tapped for same job at Tennessee

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After weeks of speculation that had centered quite a bit on Phillip Fulmer, Tennessee has opted to go with the experienced voice to head its athletic department.

While there is nothing official yet from the school, multiple media outlets are reporting that UT has chosen John Currie to be its next athletic director.  Curie has served in the same capacity at Kansas State since May of 2009.

This will serve as a homecoming for Currie as he earned his master’s degree in sports management from the university and also spent several years working in the UT athletics department before leaving for the K-State job..

In addition to Fulmer, Chattanooga athletic director David Blackburn had previously confirmed his interest in the job.

Currie would replace Dave Hart, who announced last August that he would be stepping down this year.  Hart’s expected to remain on the job until June, although it’s unclear if that timeline will remain the same.

K-State makes hiring of former Wildcats QB Collin Klein official

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A Little Manhattan legend will indeed kickstart his on-field coaching career at his alma mater.

Following up on the reports that surfaced over the weekend, Kansas State announced in a Tuesday press release that Collin Klein has been added to Bill Snyder‘s coaching staff.  The former K-State quarterback will coach the current K-State quarterbacks.

Klein will replace Del Miller, whose retirement was just announced Monday.

“Following Del will not be the easiest thing for one to do, but Collin – having been tutored under Del’s guidance – will do well,” Snyder, who’s battling throat cancer, said in a statement. “Fortunately, Del will remain with us through the spring to continue to mentor Collin during the out-of-season program and in spring practices.

“Collin is a great person: caring, loyal, hard working, responsible and disciplined,” Snyder continued. “He will be received well by his peers, players and support staff, as will his lovely wife Shalin. Collin has a love and passion, not only for football, but even more so for guiding youth toward successful lives. Our program has always been centered around achieving success in five different areas of a young man’s life: becoming the best they possibly can with their faith, their family, as a person, a student and a football athlete. Collin represents those priorities as well as any player we have ever had.”

Klein has been a part of K-State’s football operations the past three seasons, first as an assistant director of recruiting operations and quality control coach in 2014 before moving to an offensive graduate assistant position the last two years.

The 2012 winner of the Davey O’Brien Award as the nation’s top quarterback, Klein was a finalist for the Heisman Trophy that year as well.  This will mark Klein’s first full-time on-field coaching role at the FBS level.

“Shalin and I are very excited to come back home,” said Klein. “I’m very grateful to Coach Farley and UNI for the experience and opportunity they provided me this past year. Looking ahead, I am eager to get to work with and develop the great young talent at K-State. I am thankful to Coach Snyder for the opportunity to return to a place that I love while learning and growing under his leadership. I also want to express my thanks to Coach Miller, who helped be grow as both a quarterback and a person, and I want to build upon the success he has enjoyed coaching quarterbacks at K-State. We are thrilled to be back as a part of the Manhattan community and Wildcat Family.”

Longtime Bill Snyder assistant Del Miller retires

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Kansas State co-offensive coordinator Del Miller, who coached alongside Bill Snyder for 20 years, is retiring.

“I’m very appreciative of the opportunity I’ve had here at Kansas State,” Miller said in a released statement. “I’ve enjoyed my time with many players that I’ve coached through the years. They are the guys that make it worthwhile. I certainly want to express my thanks to Coach Snyder for the opportunity he presented me in 1989.”

Miller was the first assistant coaching hire under Snyder when Snyder was originally hired by the university. Miller has orchestrated 12 school passing records as a team and has coached a good number of some of the best offensive players in school history, including former quarterback Collin Klein (who is expected to join the Kansas State staff as an assistant).

“I am very grateful to Del for staying with us as long as he has. He is a major contributor to the foundation of Kansas State Football as we know it today,” Snyder said. “Having been the very first assistant coach hired for us in 1988 and still with us today, speaks volumes. Del left the program for four years to serve as a head coach but came back to us shortly thereafter because this was where he wanted to be. Del has been a great contributor to our program, our University and our community,”

Prior to joining Snyder at Kansas State, Miller was a key assistant under former Iowa head coach Hayden Fry from 1978 through 1988. He took on a role as head coach of Southwest Missouri State (Missouri State) in 1995. He then spent a year as a graduate assistant at Kansas State in 1999 and offensive coordinator at Oklahoma State in 2000. He also spent a few years at San Diego State as an offensive coordinator from 2006 through 2008 before ultimately returning to Manhattan in 2009 to rejoin the formerly-retired Snyder.

Earlier in the day, Snyder announced he had been diagnosed with throat cancer, but he plans on continuing to coach at Kansas State.